President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on partial mobilization in Russia from September 21, and also promised to use “all available means” if the country’s territorial integrity is threatened. He emphasized that “this is not a bluff.” His American counterpart, Joe Biden, responded by saying that a nuclear war “cannot be won.” NATO deplored the “dangerous rhetoric” of the Russian president, but noted that it was “not new.” The EU called on the international community to put pressure on Moscow.
US works with allies
President Joe Biden called the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine “a shameless violation” of the principles of the United Nations. The performance was broadcast by ABC News.
“Russia shamelessly violated the basic principles of the UN Charter – no less important than a clear ban on countries seizing the territory of their neighbors by force,” the politician said, speaking at the UN General Assembly.
Biden stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons in violation of the non-proliferation regime.
“A nuclear war is unwinnable and should never be fought,” the US president said, noting the US is working closely with allies to prevent a potential Russian attack on NATO territory.
The conflict in Ukraine “should end on fair terms,” he said.
“Putin says he had to act because Russia was threatened. But no one threatened Russia,” the head of the American state assured.
“Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe in, you cannot look at what is happening in cold blood. Therefore, 141 countries gathered at the UN General Assembly to unequivocally condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he added.
The US President also spoke in favor of expanding the UN Security Council, including through new permanent members.
According to the Politico newspaper, citing White House aides, Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly was rewritten at the last minute after Putin’s morning statements.
EU threatens with consequences
European Commission spokesman Peter Stano called the recent decisions of the Russian authorities “reckless” and the president’s video address to the nation “a sign of desperation.”
“This is just another proof that [президент Владимир] Putin is not interested in peace,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
According to Stano, Russia’s actions have already caused an energy and food crisis, and now “Putin is involved in a nuclear adventure.” The international community should put pressure on him to “stop this reckless behavior.” He clarified that “there will be consequences,” but did not explain what kind and whether it is worth waiting for new sanctions against the Russian Federation.
The EC representative also stressed that the Commonwealth countries would never recognize “fake, illegal referendums” in the Donbass, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said that the bloc would not be afraid and would continue to support Ukraine.
“There is only one aggressor in this war – Russia. And one country resisting the aggressor – Ukraine. EU support for Ukraine will remain unwavering,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed regret over the decision of the Russian authorities to announce a partial mobilization, calling on the nuclear powers to “act responsibly”: “This is bad news for Russians, for young people. This will lead to greater isolation of Russia.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte advised to remain calm.
“His (Putin’s – ed.) rhetoric about nuclear weapons is something we’ve heard many times before and it leaves us indifferent. It’s all part of the rhetoric we know,” he said.
His Belgian counterpart Alexandre de Croo agrees: “We must not add fuel to the fire. We must clearly state our position and continue to support Ukraine.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on Western countries to respond to the mobilization in the Russian Federation by increasing financial and military assistance to Ukraine.
“In response to this mobilization, the entire community of free countries, and especially NATO – the strongest alliance in history – must respond with support for Ukraine. Russia cannot win in Ukraine,” he said at a briefing in the Nova Demba area, where joint tank exercises are taking place servicemen of Poland, the USA and Great Britain.
“We will do everything together with our American and British allies so that all of NATO helps Ukraine even more so that it can protect itself from the additional mobilization announced by the Kremlin,” Morawiecki added.
UK sees escalation
UK Parliamentary Deputy Foreign Secretary Gillian Keegan believes that Putin’s words about holding referendums in the Donbass are a “disturbing escalation”.
“Of course, we will support Ukraine, like all our NATO allies. Some statements at the end [послания президента РФ] cause concern, and we would call for restraint. This is definitely an escalation,” she stressed.
Premier Liz Truss said that the Russian leadership will be an equal partner in the international arena only if the Russian military leaves the territory of Ukraine.
“First, Russia must leave Ukraine. And we must make sure that proper compensation is made for what happened in Ukraine, and we must make sure that Russia will never again be able to threaten the countries bordering it,” she concluded.
NATO remains vigilant
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that the alliance now sees no changes in the readiness of Russia’s nuclear forces.
“Until now, we have not observed any changes in the readiness of nuclear forces, but we are closely monitoring the situation and remain vigilant,” he said.
Putin’s words that “the wind rose can turn towards” the West, Stoltenberg called “dangerous rhetoric.”
“But it is not new… there can be no winners in a nuclear war, the consequences for Russia will be unprecedented,” the head of the organization added.
Stoltenberg reiterated that NATO “does not seek conflict with Russia” and the member states are not parties to it. “But we support Ukraine so that they can use their right to self-defense,” he concluded.